Kenya: Rolling out anti polio campaign
Posted by African Press International on January 15, 2014
Another round of anti polio campaign is set to be rolled out in all the constituencies within Siaya County beginning next week in a bid to rid the area of the deadly disease.
According According to the county director of health Dr. Omondi Owino , the campaign will involve free administration of the vaccine to over 200000 children below five years within the county.
The CDH said the polio vaccine will be administered orally to the under fives who are the targeted group given their vulnerability.
Addressing journalists a head of the kick- out polio campaign,Dr Omondi who was flanked by the deputy chief health promotion officer Mrs. Gladys Omokwye asked the residents of the county to cooperate with the health teams who will be visiting households to carry out the three day exercise.
‘’ This exercise should be made possible with the support of the locals which is key because it will boost the immunity of the targeted group from getting the disease. We therefore urge the locals to cooperate with our teams who will be visiting their homes’’ said the officer
The same number of children was covered in a similar exercise carried out late last year but was bogged down by resistance from a section of the area residents whose faith would not allow them to take their children to hospital.
At one point the move by the followers of a sect in the county threatened the success of the campaign forcing the provincial administration to move in.
The health stakeholders have subsequently been conducting sensitization meetings and trainings targeting the communities in Siaya aimed at ensuring they embrace government efforts focusing on boosting public health in the area.
Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a polio virus which can cause paralysis and even death.
The polio virus enters the body through the mouth, in water or food that has been contaminated with faecal material from an infected person. The virus multiplies in the intestine, and can be passed on by an infected person to others.
Fever , Stiffness in neck ,Fatigue, Pain in limbs, Headache, Paralysis of limb or limbs and Vomiting are some of the noticeable symptoms of the disease.
Most polio is spread through the stool of non-paralyzed children who have only a cold caused by the polio virus.
Everyone who has had no polio vaccination, but mostly children less than 5 years of age are at highest risk since their body defense is not fully developed.
Among those infected with Polio only one of every 200 persons gets paralysis (usually in the arms and or legs). This is why people think polio infection is rare as the infection is mostly. Polio may also cause death due to breathing difficulties. There is no cure for polio. Polio can only be prevented by immunization. A safe and effective vaccine exists – the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV). Given multiple times, it protects a child for life.